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William J. Hammer Collection

Creator:
Hammer, William Joseph, 1858-1934  Search this
Names:
Hudson-Fulton Celebration (1909)  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Hammer, William Joseph, 1858-1934  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
5.66 Cubic feet (13 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
1881-1934
bulk 1905-1915
Summary:
The collection is the result of Major Hammer's passion for amassing material related to aeronautics and technology, and it is arranged into eleven series: articles, clippings, correspondence, drawings and blueprints, leaflets, legislation, minutes, miscellaneous, photographs, programs and publications. Housed in 23 folders, the correspondence is the most comprehensive series, reflecting the original order which grouped the letters into series by topic. Much of the correspondence concerns the planning of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, and the involvement of Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss. There is also a scrapbook of black and white photographs providing front and side views of specified airplanes. Each page has 3 photos showing different views of the same plane accompanied by a label with additional information. (See written copy for details. Also, please see information written on 8x11 notebook paper.)
Scope and Contents:
The William J. Hammer Collection reflects Hammer's great interest in aeronautics --a passion he cultivated for several decades by accumulating a veritable storehouse of materials. Hammer's important contributions to the early development of aviation are also evident in this collection.

The collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series. The first series includes correspondence, reports, handbooks, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, magazines, articles, newspaper clippings and miscellaneous materials. The second series is comprised of photographs of various sizes, scrapbooks, scrapbook pages and miscellaneous materials (the front pages of newspapers, certificates, posters, etc.).

Hammer's papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Correspondence, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, miscellaneous materials, scrapbook pages, articles and newspaper clippings are organized by the former method. Reports, handbooks, magazines and booklets are grouped alphabetically by either title of publication or author. Photographs are arranged either by subject or chronologically.

The reader should note that at some point, Hammer produced a series of large format photographs. These mounted photographs are duplicates. Due to the very fragile condition of these particular images, the photographs and are not available to researchers.

Additional photographic material regarding Hammer Collection photographs can be found in the NASM Archives Images database. An Archives staff member will assist you with research using this database.

Box 13 of the William J. Hammer Collection has not been scanned.
Biographical/Historical note:
William J. Hammer was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania, on February 26, 1858, was an associate of Thomas Edison and an early aviation supporter and enthusiast. He began his career as an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In 1879, he moved on to a new position as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. His duties ranged from aiding in conducting experiments on such devices as the phonograph, telephone and ore separator to acting as Edison's key person in further developing the incandescent electric lamp. By 1880, he was made chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. A year later, Edison dispatched Hammer to London to be chief engineer of the English Electric Light Company. In this position, he helped construct the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This was the first central station ever built for incandescent electric lighting. In 1883, Hammer became chief engineer for the German Edison Company. This task included planning and supervising the construction of all Edison plants in Germany. He returned to the United States late in the following year and acted as chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. In 1886-87, Hammer was general manager and chief engineer of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. In 1888, he worked as an independent engineer and supervised the completion of the then-largest isolated electric lighting plant, located at the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. During that year, Hammer also was chosen as consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinnati Centennial Exposition. Subsequently, Edison selected him as his personal representative to the Paris Exposition of 1889. This assignment rounded out Hammer's eleven years with Edison. During his time as one of Edison's most trusted and important employees, Hammer devised a number of innovations to the incandescent electric lamp. He designed and built the first electric sign, which spelled out the name "Edison". While in Germany, he invented the automatic motor-driven flashing electric lamp sign. This particular sign flashed the word "Edison" letter by letter and then all at once. At the International Electrical Exhibition, held in Philadelphia in 1884, Hammer also constructed the first flashing column of electric lights.

Upon his return to the U.S. in 1890, Hammer worked as an independent consulting electrical engineer by assisting in a variety of electrical projects, carrying out tests, giving lectures and providing expert testimony in patent disputes. He based this modest enterprise in an office in New York City and continued in this occupation until 1925. His career as an electrical engineering consultant was interrupted by World War I. In June 1918, he was commissioned a major in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division of the General Staff in charge of Aeronautical and Electrical Inventions at the Army War College, Washington, D.C.. By December of that year, he was attached to the Operations Division General Staff at the War Department (Inventions Section). During the war and on into 1919, Hammer also worked for the U.S. Patent Office by identifying any aviation-related patents likely to convey too much information to potential enemies. In conjunction with his War Department duties, he acted as a member of the Advisory Board of Experts affiliated with the Alien Property Commission.

Busy as he was with his private consulting work, Hammer also immersed himself in other scientific activities. He took a particular interest in radium after visiting Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris in 1902. The two discoverers of radium gave him some samples of this substance. Soon after returning to the United States, Hammer experimented with radium. His research yielded numerous useful applications for this material such as radium-luminous powders and paints that were used to coat everything from watch and clock dials to aeronautical instruments, switches and toys. Hammer also advocated the use of radium for cancer and tumor treatment. Beyond his interest in this material, he invented selenium light-sensitive cells and recommended many practical uses for them. He also conducted a great deal of laboratory work on X-rays, ultraviolet and cathode rays, phosphorescence and wireless communications. Accordingly, he lectured and published extensively on many of these fields of research and study.

Hand in hand with his overall interest in science and technology, Hammer had a particular passion for aeronautics. Beyond paying careful attention to the rapid progress made in this field at the turn of the twentieth century, he also played an active role as participant and supporter. He made his first balloon flight over France during the Paris Exposition of 1889. His last lighter-than-air journey took place in 1931 aboard the U.S. Navy dirigible Los Angeles. Moreover, he attended and officiated over many balloon, airship and airplane exhibitions and races. Hammer was a member of the Aero Club of America and a director of the Aeronautical Society. This latter group made the first ever purchase of an airplane in January 1909. He served as expert and secretary of the Aeronautics Committee on the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission of 1909 and wrote the contracts for Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss to fly their airplanes for this event. This occasion in New York was important as it marked the first time a large gathering of people in the U.S. witnessed heavier-than-air powered flight. As a friend of the Wright brothers, Hammer testified as an expert witness on their behalf during various patent litigation suits. His contact with aviation pioneers went beyond the Wrights and Curtiss. He also knew and interacted with, among others, Samuel Langley, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Henri Farman and Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Even his work with radium had applications for aviation. Hammer developed radium-based luminous compounds and used them on aircraft instruments so pilots could more easily view their cockpits' dials and gauges.

Hammer's last years were filled with serving as Historian General of the Military Order of the World War, as well as participating in many scientific, engineering and aeronautical committees and societies. During this time, he was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, John Scott Medal from the Franklin Institute and the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France. Up until his death on March 24, 1934, he also labored in his efforts to organize a vast personal collection of rare and valuable scientific artifacts, photographs and other materials accumulated since his days with Edison. Following Hammer's death, this important collection was left in the care of his daughter Mabel (his wife of twelve years, Alice, having died in 1906). Some years later, International Business Machines (IBM) acquired it. In 1962, IBM donated the William J. Hammer Scientific Collection to the Smithsonian Institution. The bulk of the collection resides with the National Museum of American History's Archives Center. In the mid 1980s, the aeronautical portion of this collection was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives.
Provenance:
IBM (Mr. William J. Hammer Collection), gift, 1961, XXXX-0074, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Topic:
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0074
See more items in:
William J. Hammer Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0074
Additional Online Media:

Compass, Japanese Navy, Type-0, Model-1, Modification-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Anodized Aluminum
Steel
Glass
Fluid
Synthetic
Paper
Dimensions:
3-D: 10.8 × 8.3 × 10.2cm (4 1/4 × 3 1/4 × 4 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Navigational
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Gift of Yoshiaki Uematsu.
Inventory Number:
A20040147000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20040147000

Compass, Japanese Navy, Model-1, Modification-1, Navigators

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Unknown Metal
Aluminum
Copper Alloy
Coating
Textile
Plastic
Glass
Steel
Dimensions:
3-D: 16.5 × 16.5 × 12.1cm (6 1/2 × 6 1/2 × 4 3/4 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Navigational
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Gift of Yoshiaki Uematsu.
Inventory Number:
A20040150000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20040150000

Inclinometer, Japanese Navy, Model-2

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum
Glass
Unknown Metal
Dimensions:
3-D: 21.6 × 3.3 × 14cm (8 1/2 × 1 5/16 × 5 1/2 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Gift of Yoshiaki Uematsu.
Inventory Number:
A20040151000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20040151000

Japanese Ko Model 2 Engine Vacuum Pump

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Cast aluminum - overall
Steel - shaft
Dimensions:
3-D: 21.3 x 8.6cm (8 3/8 x 3 3/8 in.)
5.4 cm (2 1/8 inch) bolt spacing at flange
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Found In Collection. Donor Unknown at this Time. Found on NASM Premises.
Inventory Number:
A19990040000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Hangar:
Boeing Aviation Hangar
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19990040000
Additional Online Media:

Artificial Horizon, Autopilot, Japanese, Navy, Model-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
HAZ MAT: Cadmium
Ferrous Alloy
Aluminum Alloy
Possible Magnesium Alloy
Rubber
Glass
Radium Paint
Paint
Adhesive
Dimensions:
3-D (Overall): 21.6 × 17.1 × 12.4cm (8 1/2 × 6 3/4 × 4 7/8 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Gift of V. H. Beckett
Inventory Number:
A19950188000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19950188000

Indicator, Rate Of Climb, Japanese Army, Type-95, Model-2

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Plastic
Paint
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Ferrous Alloy
Dimensions:
3-D: 9 × 8.3 × 14cm (3 9/16 × 3 1/4 × 5 1/2 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Navy
Inventory Number:
A19731586000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19731586000
Additional Online Media:

Artificial Horizon, Autopilot, Japanese

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Dimensions:
3-D: 22.2 x 22.5cm (8 3/4 x 8 7/8 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Navy
Inventory Number:
A19731593000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19731593000

Artificial Horizon, Autopilot, Japanese

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum
Glass
Phenolic Resin
Steel
Graphite
Dimensions:
3-D: 30.5 x 22.2 x 22.2cm (12 x 8 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Navy
Inventory Number:
A19731594000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19731594000

Indicator, Rate of Climb, Vertimeter, Type A

Manufacturer:
Aeronautical Instrument Co.  Search this
Materials:
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Copper Alloy
White Metal Plating (Possible Chrome Plating)
Plaster
Glass
Unknown Liquid
Paint
Rubber
Solder
Wax
Dimensions:
3-D (Vertimeter): 17.1 × 9.4 × 6.7cm (6 3/4 × 3 11/16 × 2 5/8 in.)
3-D (Air Chamber): 27.6 × 10.3 × 10.8cm (10 7/8 × 4 1/16 × 4 1/4 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Transferred from the Department of Commerce
Inventory Number:
A19570373000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19570373000

Indicator, Rate of Climb, Japanese Army, Type-97,

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum alloy, black paint, glass, radium paint, copper alloy
Dimensions: 6 x 3.5 x 4 inches
Dimensions:
Other: 8.9 × 10.2 × 15.2cm (3 1/2 in. × 4 in. × 6 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19600489000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19600489000

Inclinometer, Japanese Navy, Model-2

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Glass
Unknown Liquid
Paint
Steel
Dimensions:
3-D: 4.6 × 21.3 × 14cm (1 13/16 × 8 3/8 × 5 1/2 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19601012000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19601012000
Additional Online Media:

Artificial Horizon, Autopilot, Japanese

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
HAZMAT: Cadmium Coating
Aluminum
Paint
Glass
Phosphorescent paint
Synthetic Rubber
Steel
Cork
Dimensions:
3-D: 22.4 x 22.2 x 30.3cm (8 13/16 x 8 3/4 x 11 15/16 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19601033000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19601033000

Artificial Horizon, Autopilot, Japanese

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum, Steel, Paint, Glass, Protective Coating, Phenolic Resin, Rubber, Phosphoresent Paint, Ceramic
Dimensions:
3-D: 22.2 x 29.2 x 21.9cm (8 3/4 x 11 1/2 x 8 5/8 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19601051000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19601051000

Gyro, Autopilot, Japanese, Type-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum, Steel, Paint, Phosphorus, Plastic, Glass, Synthetic Fabric
Dimensions:
3-D: 17.8 x 22.9 x 16.5cm (7 x 9 x 6 1/2 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19601229000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19601229000

Autopilot, Artificial Horizon, Japanaese, Navy, Model-1, Type-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum
Paint
Glass
Steel
Copper Alloy
Plastic
Dimensions:
3-D: 12.7 x 20.3 x 14.9cm (5 x 8 x 5 7/8 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19602214000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19602214000

Indicator, Autopilot, Directional Unit, Japanese, Army, Model-2

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Dimensions:
3-D: 13 x 22 x 22.2cm (5 1/8 x 8 11/16 x 8 3/4 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Autopilots
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19602215000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19602215000

Indicator, Suction, Japanese Navy, Model-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Glass
Paint
Steel
Unknown Coating
Dimensions:
3-D: 6 × 6.2cm (2 3/8 × 2 7/16 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19602853000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19602853000
Additional Online Media:

Indicator, Directional Gyro, Japanese Navy, Model-1

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Aluminum
Coating
Glass
Copper Alloy
Steel
Synthetic
Dimensions:
3-D: 14.6 × 11.7 × 12.7cm (5 3/4 × 4 5/8 × 5 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Gift of Lt. Kimbrough S. Brown
Inventory Number:
A19480141000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19480141000
Additional Online Media:

Indicator, Rate of Climb, Japanese Army, Type 95, Model-2

Manufacturer:
Tokyo Aeronautical Instruments Company (Tokyo Koku Keiki)  Search this
Materials:
Glass
Coating
Aluminum
Copper Alloy
Synthetic
Paper
Dimensions:
3-D: 11.4 × 9.8 × 8.6cm (4 1/2 × 3 7/8 × 3 3/8 in.)
Type:
INSTRUMENTS-Flight Management
Country of Origin:
Japan
Credit Line:
Transferred from the U.S. Navy
Inventory Number:
A19550042000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19550042000
Additional Online Media:

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